Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Physical Education

First Advisor

David F. Stodden


A foundational principle in sport science involves applying an evidence-based approach to training and development of athletes. The primary objective is to provide an effective training program, while monitoring general athletic performance (GAP) development (i.e., athlete-monitoring), ensuring intended adaptations are occurring. Much of the literature has focused on GAP markers (e.g., physical qualities related to strength, speed, power, agility, and endurance) which are only suggested to influence competitive sport performance (SP) outcomes (e.g., yards per carry, batting average, hitting percentage, rank or placement, etc.; B. Alejo, personal communication, July 13, 2019). This gap in the literature should be filled via examination of motor control principles and theories (i.e., impulse-variability theory) as it relates to GAP and SP. The work presented herein focuses on investigating the relationship of non-traditional GAP markers (e.g., squat jump peak velocity and impulse-momentum) and tenants of the impulse-variability theory to SP outcomes (e.g., intra-team rank of SP and starter vs non-starter group membership) in an elite (e.g., top 8 nationally ranked) NCAA DI beach volleyball team (n = 20; age = 19.75 ± 1.52; height = 173.32 ± 6.49 cm). The first study examined associations between traditional and non-traditional maximal output GAP markers to each other, as well as associations and contribution of GAP markers to SP outcomes (e.g., intra-team rank of SP and group membership). Results demonstrate strong associations between traditional and non-traditional GAP markers, while non-traditional demonstrated strong association and independent contribution to SP outcomes. Intra-set jump-based GAP variability (i.e., variable error) was examined in study two where only squat jump peak velocity variability demonstrated strong association and contribution to SP group membership. Study three examined predictive utility of the combined effects of maximal output GAP markers and jump-based GAP variability to SP group membership. Results demonstrated squat jump peak velocity maximum and variability correctly classified SP group membership at a 100% success rate. Overall, these data suggest non-traditional GAP maximal output and variability provide strong predictive utility to SP group membership. Future research should examine the generalizable utility of impulse-variability theory as it relates to GAP development (e.g., physical education to elite athletes) and SP outcomes.